Weekend Predictions: New Releases are Far from Super

That Awkward Moment poster

It's the Super Bowl weekend, so needless to say, the new releases are looking rather weak. Why would any studio want to release a film against what is the largest single sporting event of the year? There are two wide releases coming out, but neither is expected to make much of an impact. That Awkward Moment is the bigger of the two wide releases, but its reviews are terrible. It should still earn first place, because there's no competition to speak of. Labor Day's reviews are slightly better and its target demographic has very little crossover appeal with the Super Bowl. Even so, most think it will miss the top five. This weekend last year, Warm Bodies earned first place with just over $20 million. If That Awkward Moment earns $20 million, I will be shocked. It might not earn too much more than half of that.

That Awkward Moment is the story of three friends, one of whom was just dumped, so the other two decide to remain single till he gets back into the game. Of course, they immediately find the women of their dreams. This film is earning terrible reviews. A lot of critics are complimenting the actors, but saying the script gives them nothing to work with. Fortunately for the distributor, it only cost $1.5 million for the domestic distribution rights, so it shouldn't be too hard to recover that money. Look for an opening of $13 million, which should be enough for first place.

Ride Along led the way last weekend with $21.30 million. This weekend it will likely drop to second place, but with a respectable $12 million. This will push its running tally to $92 million and put it less than a week away from the century mark.

Frozen is being re-released this weekend in a sing-along version. On the one hand, this is kind of a fun thing to do and I think this will help the film climb into third place this weekend. On the other hand, if this does really well, you know Disney will start plans to re-release every musical they've made in a sing-along version. I think it will pull in $8 million, which will put it about $10 million behind Despicable Me 2 for biggest animated film released in 2013.

Currently, the biggest animated film released in 2014 is The Nut Job, which has made $42 million so far. This weekend, this film is should make about $7 million lifting its total to just shy of $50 million. That's a great run for a January release.

Out of all of the films on this week's list, Lone Survivor is the one that will be hit the hardest by the Super Bowl. The Venn diagram of the target audiences between this film and the Super Bowl is nearly a circle. I think it will grab fifth place with just under $7 million, but that might not be enough to stay ahead of Labor Day.

The second wide release of the month is Labor Day. This film had a short Oscar-qualifying run in December, but clearly that was a waste. Its reviews are currently only 35% positive and many critics are comparing it to a Nicholas Sparks movie. Given its negative reviews and the quiet buzz, there is a chance it will open below the Mendoza Line. I think it will avoid that fate, but not by much, earning $6 million and sixth place.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-01-30